The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

A Flemish Village

GONE is the spire that slept for centuries,

Whose image in the water, calm and low,

Was mingled with the lilies green and snow,

And lost itself in river mysteries.

The church lies broken near the fallen spire;

For here, among these old and human things

Death swept along the street with feet of fire,

And went upon his way with moaning wings.

Above the cluster of these homes forlorn,

Where giant fleeces of the shells are rolled,

O'er pavements by the kneeling herdsmen worn,

The wounded saints look out to see their fold.

.And silence follows fast, no evening peace,

But leaden stillness, when the thunder wanes,

Haunting the slender branches of the trees

And settling low upon the listless plains